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Knee Replacement & Hip Replacement
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[THR] Take a deep breath! Jump in!

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by gertie, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet Forum Advisor

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    Well if it comes to it you know you've got another double-amputee here on hand to talk you through it. If it needs to be fixed get it done and we'll all support you.
     
  2. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    @Miss Muffet Thanks for the support! I know it needs to be done--the big question for me right now is work and not wanting to apply for more extended sick leave right after coming back on board--I'll see how things go as the weather improves and I get more active--decision might be made for me if the hip protests loudly about increased activity.

    And how are you these days?
     
  3. Miss Muffet

    Miss Muffet Forum Advisor

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    No problem - honestly. I know it's easy to say drop everything and say get on with it when there are other considerations.
    And I feel SO guilty about not updating my thread, been too busy nosy parkering around everyone else and what they're up to I'm afraid. I promise to do that soon. Thanks for asking, I'm doing well! :yahoo:
     
  4. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    Good morning. I'm 4 and a 1/2 months out and overall doing well but wanted to note something that I think is probably pretty typical of this stage of recovery--I'm feeling IMPATIENT.

    Improvement at this point comes in small increments and I often feel stuck and worry that I won't get back to "normal" (whatever that is!) For example, I really want to be back working in the garden this spring and summer, which means being able to get down and up from a low stool (no kneeling because of bad knees) and there's no way I could do that right now. And I'm still too stiff to cut my own toenails.

    So, to keep from getting hung up on what I can't do, I run through the list of things that I CAN do now that I couldn't do weeks or months ago:
    Zipping up winter boots
    Tying shoes
    Putting on socks
    Filling and emptying bottom shelf of dishwasher
    Getting things off of lower shelves in the grocery store
    Putting cat in cat carrier, transporting to the car and into the vet's office
    Cleaning cat box using short handled scoop rather than adapted long handle scoop
    Getting up from regular height chairs fairly easily (still push off seat with one hand)
    Go up and down stairs normally (although bad knee has me avoiding stairs when I can)

    And I'm sure the list goes on.

    Now if I can just get those muscles strong enough to deal with the low stool!
     
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  5. Krista

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    Good for you, @gertie, my surgery triplet, focusing on the positive! I'm there with you, as I cannot cut my toenails yet. Am going to a podiatrist on Wednesday to do the job for me. I think my toenails have been cut only a total of about 4 times in the last year! I'm also doing much more these days, but I am definitely not all the way there. I was told by surgeon 6 months for recovery, and I'm sure I'll take longer than that to get back to normal. But I am so happy that I can put on my socks without an aid, and I don't ever use grabbers any more, unless something is way down and back in a place I never would have been able to reach before my hip problems.
     
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  6. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    @gertie you'll get there! As Krista says - recovery takes time. But what seems impossible one day will be easy on another. Just keep trying! I couldn't tie my shoes for the longest time. Tried it one day and it was simple! The flexibility will return!
     
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  7. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    Thanks @Jaycey The flexibility does seem to be returning but I'm impatient about building the hip flexor and glute strength that is required for getting up and down from low spots. That is moving slowly and I'm not sure how to move it along, especially with achy knees complicating things.
     
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  8. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    @Krista Ah, those pesky toenails! I will definitely do a happy dance the first time I cut my own again! I still love my grabbers and will probably continue to use them to save wear and tear on my low back--but it's nice to know I'm not dependent on them.
     
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  9. Jaycey

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    Well according to your signature you were walking around with that bad hip for over 4 years. Muscles atrophy. Keep your eyes on the goal - gardening.

    Can you invest in some long handled gardening tools so that you can work in the garden but not have to get up and down from a low stool?
     
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  10. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    @Jaycey Actually, the hip went from mildly problematic to severe very quickly just a few months before surgery and up until mid-July last summer I was able to get up and down from that stool just fine--and I need to be down at ground level for weeding and planting so I do want to get that strength back.
     
  11. Krista

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    @gertie, you should see the s-l-o-w motion moves I make when getting back up after bending down to pick up something off of the floor! I go slowly, partly because I don't have full glute strength yet, but also because I don't want to re-injure my back. I have two very distinct memories from one day last summer, that sealed my fate on the vertebral fracture. I think the damage had mostly already been done, with osteoporosis and wear-and-tear, but the straws that broke the camel's back were (1) when I tried to lift a 9 pound bag of corn with one hand, and (2) when I bent down very quickly to pick up a hand towel that had fallen to the floor. I felt something give when lifting the heavier weight, and go some more with the quick up-and-down, although it was another month of agony to a diagnosis and a couple more weeks after that to treatment. I am scared to try to go more quickly in recovery!

    Hope you get to those toenails soon, and get those muscles strong again in good time.
     
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  12. mlsread

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    I can relate to so much of this conversation. I too am 4.5 weeks out and impatient to the point that I think i am doing quite well and then I wake up very stiff or it takes forever to shower, dress, and get downstairs. Perhaps I should do stretching in the morning, or take anti-inflammatory every single night, or start PT?
    I plan to stay home another 10 days and then return to work and hope I made the right decision. When I am home it is easy to sit or lay down and not move at all which is not good. Good to hear from you all.
     
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  13. opie

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    @misread.. I will be 5 weeks tomorrow. I'm just kind of plugging along. No major problems, but, I too am stiff, sore and lack energy. But, I just reread the BoneSmart mantras and they reminded me I'm probably "right on". I'm not going back to work quite so soon. I don't think I could do it in 10 days. I don't remember if you have a choice to postpone working?


    Sent from my iPhone using BoneSmart Forum
     
  14. opie

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    I don't do any stretching, but take anti inflammatories in the morning and right before bed. I also drink turmeric tea every day and continue to ice. Seems like I've been doing this for absolutely ever!


    Sent from my iPhone using BoneSmart Forum
     
  15. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    @mlsread I'm actually 4.5 months out. At 4.5 weeks out I was doing well but just starting to drive again and get out and about on my own more. I was off pain meds and off any walking aids but I was stiff and could barely get my hand halfway down my calf if I bent forward, never mind doing something that involved my feet.

    At 6 weeks I overdid it--I was starting to feel better and was out doing errands and doing some housework, getting ready for the holidays and out of town guests--and trying to increase flexibility--and ended up with an increase in pain over the holidays. My advice is to take it easy. I didn't start back to work until 9 weeks out but that was partly because of holiday time. However at 6 weeks I was still dealing with a significant energy drain and would have had a hard time working more than a few hours at a time.
     
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  16. mlsread

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    @gertie I am contractual so I don't get paid unless I work. I can tell them when I am coming back and I figured 6 weeks was long enough. I don't know if I don't have energy because I am recovering or because I don't do that much. My job is 80% sedentary. I will reconsider my work schedule. I woke in the wee hours with terrific pain in my legs while laying on my stomach. It was better on my back but having covers on was painful. I walked around a grocery store yesterday and did a bit of raking in the garden. Too much?
     
  17. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    @mlsread Oh, I know, the work thing is tricky, especially if you're contract or self-employed. I was really fortunate to have short term disability insurance kick in and cover some of my salary. For me, it was clear that the energy drain was due to the surgery--I'd be up and doing and then just get this wave of exhaustion. I might have been able to work a few hours from home (with naps worked into the schedule) at 6 weeks but I probably wouldn't have done much other than that.

    Sounds like you might have joined the ODIC (overdone it club). Happens to all of us at some point.
     
  18. mlsread

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    @gertie So strange-what a difference a day makes. Maybe it was the Ibupropen I had before bedtime. Today was a terrific day. I slept well, i was not stiff when I woke up and I moved around very well. I felt good enough to take the dog for a short walk which I have not done in over a year. Woohoo
     
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  19. gertie

    gertie Graduate
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    I'm just a couple of days away from the 6 month anniversary of my left hip replacement. All is well with the hip--thank goodness because my left leg has had to be the "good" leg as my right knee deteriorates (I've got a thread started over on the knee pre-op side). I've been using the left leg as the lead in getting up from chairs and going up/down stairs and I've had a few twinges in the left hip as a result but nothing major.

    I had a brief period in late winter/early spring when I could enjoy the new hip, striding out on walks or doing low impact aerobic exercise in the house, using stairs at work, etc. and then had a significant increase in knee pain and...got back on the joint replacement merry go round. So, here's hoping that this time next year I'll be striding out for real and planning long walks and gardening and ... just moving pain free.

    I hope the other late fall 2017 hip buddies are all doing well.
     
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  20. Krista

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    Yay for the hip being so strong and good, @gertie! Yes, our 6th month-iversary is in two days, and I remember it all as if it were yesterday. So sorry about your knee being such a downer, and I hope that after that knee replacement you will be doing much better next year. :SUNsmile: :fingersx: :smile2:
     
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